New Gun Sense Majority in the House Joins the Senate With the Opportunity to Pass Long Overdue Legislation to Keep the Commonwealth Safe
In the 2023 Elections, Nine Moms Demand Action Volunteers Were Elected to the House of Delegates
RICHMOND, VA – As the Virginia General Assembly convenes today for the start of the 2024 legislative session, lawmakers will have the opportunity to build on the gains made in the fight against gun violence when gun sense majorities controlled the chambers in 2020 and 2021.
Following tireless advocacy in the 2023 elections by volunteers with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, the Virginia General Assembly is starting with gun sense majorities in both chambers. Now, our legislators have the opportunity to pass bills that have been blocked by gun lobby allies in previous sessions and vote in the interest of keeping our communities safe. Volunteers will be on Capitol Square tomorrow to meet with legislators and advocate for gun violence prevention legislation this session, with a kickoff rally at 9am at the Library of Virginia.
“While several common sense gun safety laws were being defeated in the House by lawmakers who would rather play politics than protect Virginians, we saw preventable tragedies caused by gun violence across our communities,” said Shantell Rock, a volunteer with the Virginia Chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This year, we’re excited to have gun sense majorities in both chambers, led by Speaker Don Scott and Senate Majority Leader Scott Surovell, to advance the long overdue legislation that we need to keep our communities safe. We’ll be back at the statehouse tomorrow for our annual advocacy day so that we can remind our legislators that we’re here for the long haul.”
Progress has stalled in Virginia since the last major set of legislative wins for gun safety in 2020 and 2021, which included laws requiring background checks on all gun sales, creating extreme risk protection orders, and prohibiting guns in sensitive locations like Capitol Square and polling places. Virginia lawmakers are well-positioned this session to build on these foundational policies and introduce new common sense gun safety measures this session, including: strengthening the Commonwealth’s secure storage laws, enhancing the background checks system, prohibiting ghost guns and assault weapons, and ensuring consistent funding for community violence intervention programs.
In an average year, 1,121 people die by guns in Virginia and 1,911 are wounded. Gun violence costs Virginia $14.2 billion each year, of which $288.3 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Virginia is available here.
To speak to a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out.